Spicy Homemade Ketchup

About: Always looking for interesting "projects" and hacks. I create Halloween props for our home haunt and love finding new ways to create cool props.

Homemade ketchup is the best, and it is pretty easy to make. I have made this for years and always make sure to make a little extra every year to give as Christmas gifts.

Homemade ketchup does not contain a lot of salt or many of the other ingredients that are added to the brand names. It is very tasty to use in cooking many of your favorite dishes.

This version is done using a crock pot. I get it started late at night and then let it cook and thicken all night long. Then it is ready to put in the jars first thing in the morning.

Step 1: Ingredients

4-5 quarts tomatoes (approximately)
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 C cider vinegar
1/2 C sugar
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/2 t paprika
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 t ground cloves

Pint and 1/2 pint canning jars and lids.

Step 2: Prepare the Tomatoes

Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and broil until the skins begin to turn black. This adds a bit of a smoky flavor to the ketchup.

Puree the tomatoes in a blender. Pour the puree into a crock pot.

Step 3: Prepare All Other Ingredients

Cut onion, jalapeno, and garlic into chunks. Puree in the blender and add to tomatoes in the crock pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Step 4: Simmer the Ketchup

Set your crock pot on high and cook the ketchup for about 10 hrs (allow it to thicken). You can also do this on the stove, but you will need to watch it more closely.

After the ketchup has cooked for a little while, taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Once the ketchup has reduced considerably, you are ready to put it in jars and seal them. The ketchup should be quite thick at this point.

TIP: Don't put the lid of your crock on tightly. Allow the the steam to escape in order for the ketchup to reduce.

Step 5: Can the Ketchup

Sterilize your jars and lids. Once your ketchup has reduced, pour into the jars and put on the lids. Fill the jars to about 1/2 inch from the top and make sure to wipe the rims clean before you put on the lids.

Process the jars of ketchup in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes (bring to a boil and boil for 15 min). Make sure the water covers your jars by at least 1/2 inch.

Once the jars have sealed (you will hear the lids pop), label your jars and you are done!



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    26 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Did you peel the tomatoes before blending them or leave them on for extra smokiness? This looks like a spectacular recipe. Just wish I hadn't given away our crockpot :-) Thanks so much for your efforts!

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    As long as you process the jars (step 5), they will seal. They will last a couple of years this way. You only need to refrigerate the sauce after you open (break the seal) the jar. Because tomatoes are so acidic, you don't need to use a pressure canner. I should have explained that in the instructions.

    We have eaten home canned pears off Grandma's trees that are twenty five years old and tasted as good as last year's. Sounds you have listened to far too many gubbermint food Nazies lately.


    Reply 4 years ago

    We also ate all of our grandmothers'/aunties canning after several years without any problems. I personally wouldn't throw out any home canned products after a year. Many more complex flavors also develop over time, which is why many cheeses & other foods are aged. And I'm sure this ketchup tastes even more amazing after at least a couple of years 'aging' in the jars.


    Well good luck with that...I will stick with the advise my grandma taught me....who was most certainly not a "food nazi" but a woman who knew how to preserve safely the food she put on the table.


    As someone who has never done any canning, I would love a little more info on "processing".

    Can I just use a stock pot for the water bath?

    Isn't there something about putting the lids on loosely while heating?

    Do I need to use actual canning jars/lids, or can I reuse store-bought glass ketchup bottles and salsa jars?

    Anything else to know or be careful of? Thanks!

    2 replies

    Yes, you can use a stock pot. You just want to make sure that your jars are completely submersed in the water. My mother always told me to make sure that the water covered the jars by at least 1/4 inch.

    I always put the lids on tightly while heating the jars. Not sure about putting them on loosely.

    You should always use actual canning lids. You can use recycle some jars but I would be cautious. One thing I do is to put the ketchup in a ketchup jar after I have opened it.

    Hope this helps!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Stupid question time! The 4-5 quarts of tomatoes- Is this 4-5 quarts of whole tomatoes (how does one measure this?) or is this 4-5 quarts of tomatoes after they have been broiled and then 'whizzed'?
    Sorry, silly British question as we tend to do things by weight over here!

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I estimate the amount of tomatoes. This is before they are broiled. I pretty much guess at how many tomatoes would fit into 4 or 5 quart jars. It usually works out to be about 20 large tomatoes. I know this isn't precise, but because of size and the amount of juice in the tomatoes, it will vary. I hope this helps.


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 5

    The headspace in your jar is pretty important because foods will swell when you process them. If you do not leave enough headspace, the contents can be forced under the lid and your jars will not seal properly.

    Headspace varies with the type of food you are canning. General guidelines are:

    1 inch for low-acid foods such as vegetables and meats.

    1/2 inch for high-acid foods such as fruits and tomatoes.

    1/4 inch for juices, jams, pickles and relishes (this recipe falls into this category)

    Hope this helps.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the recipe! I made a half batch yesterday, but I think I messed it up. I let it simmer in the crock pot for a really long time, but I didn't feel it had reduced enough so I turned it to low and went to bed . . . got up in the morning and it had gotten too hot. It's a bit burned tasting, but still pretty good! I found that if I mix it about 1:1 with store bought ketchup it's amazing with french fries.

    2 replies

    I have actually had that happen before also. Sometimes I think it may have to do with the humidity, because the length of time I simmer it can vary! I just finished my batch for this year and I actually put the crock pot on low and let it simmer all night long and it came out better than ever. Another trick I have used if it seems to runny is to add a can of tomato paste.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The ible says cook this on high for 10 hours. In the comment I'm replying to, you said you simmer it. So should this be on high or simmer?